Quick cryptographical one

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JimBentley
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Quick cryptographical one

Post by JimBentley » Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:47 am

Should be pretty simple for you clever people as it's a straightforward substitution (I want to see how easy one of these is to solve before messing with a more complex method I've got in mind):

Code: Select all

¿šŒ›Žà´ŸŒ›à³ŸŒ—›Ôà´ŸŒ›à®›“žŽŸ’œŒàŸ’œà´ŸŒ›à¬‹Ž’›Žà‘“›à´ŸŒ›à°‘
””‘•ÔàŒ˜›à“‘ŒàœŸŽ—’™à”ŸŒ›à˜‘‰à‘šàŸ””Òඟ•‘’à°‘””‘•àØÏÇÏÎÓË
Ê×ÔàŒ˜›à™Ž›ŸŒà”›Ÿ•‡à°Ž‘“›Œ˜›‹à‘šà¿“›Ž—Ÿ’àŸŽŒÔà—àŸ”‰Ÿ‡àŸ‹“›
œàŒ‘à˜ŸŠ›à›Ÿ•›œàŸŽ‘‹’œàÏÇËÐÔàŒ˜›Ž›ŸšŒ›Žà‹‹“ž—’™àŒ‘àŒ˜›àœ›“‘’
à‘šàœŽ—’•Ôàœ›Ž›—‘’ÔàŸœ‹”Œ›Ž‡àŸ’œàŸ•Ó˜Ÿ’œ›œàŸ’œà‘”‘‹Ž”›à
‹Ÿ—Óš—™‹ŽŸŒ—‘’Ôàš‘””‘‰›œàž‡àØ—’àÏÇËÍ×àŸ—’Œ›Žnàž”‘•Òà°‘””‘•
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àŸ’àŸ”‘˜‘”Óš‹›””›œàŽŸ™›Ôà˜›àœŽ‘Š›à˜—à‘’Š›ŽŒ—ž”›à±”œ“‘ž—”›à—’
Œ‘àŸàŒŽ››àŸŒàÈГ˜Ôàœ›Ÿ—ŒŸŒ—’™à˜—“›”šàŸ’œà•—””—’™àŸàš›“Ÿ”›àŸ
›’™›ŽàjàŸ’œà’›ŸŽ”‡à•—””—’™à˜—à‡‘‹’™à“—ŒŽ›àjà—’àŒ˜›àŽ‘›
Òà²‘à‰‘’œ›Žà°‘””‘•à˜Ÿàž››’àŒ˜›àŒ›ˆŒž‘‘•à›ˆŸ“”›à‘šà­‘ŒŒàº—Œ†™
›ŽŸ”œnà”—’›àŸž‘‹ŒàŒ˜›Ž›àž›—’™à’‘à›‘’œàŸŒà—’à¿“›Ž—Ÿ’à”—Š›Ò
[/size]

There's no significance in the formatting, it's just that the passage is 768 characters long and 12 rows of 64 seemed a good enough fit for the page, but it should be really considered as a continuous 768 character string). The only slight quirk is that there may or may not be (OK, there are) some non-printing characters within the block.

Dunno if anyone's interested in this sort of thing, but there will be an extremely prestigious prize for the quickest solve that makes sense (doesn't need to be perfect). This prize - which is very prestigious, if I may remind you - may have zero monetary value and not exist, but it does carry a lot of prestige.

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Charlie Reams » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:28 pm

Got it! Took me about 45 mins, would imagine others could solve it much faster.

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Matt Morrison
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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Matt Morrison » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:46 am

Just in case anyone is wondering, I obviously can't do it.

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Mark James » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:57 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:Just in case anyone is wondering, I obviously can't do it.
I don't even know what you're supposed to do.

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:02 pm

Mark James wrote:
Matt Morrison wrote:Just in case anyone is wondering, I obviously can't do it.
I don't even know what you're supposed to do.
Jim said it's straightforward substitution so I swapped doing the puzzle with having a pizza instead. Took less than 45 minutes to eat.

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by JimBentley » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:23 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mark James wrote:I don't even know what you're supposed to do.
Jim said it's straightforward substitution
If anyone is genuinely confused, it's a passage of text where each original character has been replaced by a different one; by "straightforward" I just mean that the substitutions remain the same throughout. A simple version might be something like:

A is replaced by z
B is replaced by y
C is replaced by x
D is replaced by w
E is replaced by v, and so on.

So ACE in the original text would always translate to zxv, DECADE would always translate to wvxzwv and so on.

It's quite easy really, the only tricksy bit is the involvement of non-printing characters. I'll leave it until next weekend in case anyone else wants a go.

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:49 pm

What are non-printing characters?

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by JimBentley » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:21 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:What are non-printing characters?
Here's some examples:





Hope that helps!

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Johnny Canuck » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:48 pm

Is it a cryptogram similar (in terms of the solution method, not the answer text itself) to the one featured in the story "The Gold-Bug" by Edgar Allan Poe? If you're all cryptography enthusiasts I'm guessing you've heard of that one.
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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by JimBentley » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:35 pm

Johnny Canuck wrote:Is it a cryptogram similar (in terms of the solution method, not the answer text itself) to the one featured in the story "The Gold-Bug" by Edgar Allan Poe? If you're all cryptography enthusiasts I'm guessing you've heard of that one.
Sure is Johnny, except mine includes all the punctuation and stuff. Also Poe's (I think) was just randomly assigned symbols whereas my assignations follow a rule.

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:10 am

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:What are non-printing characters?
Here's some examples:





Hope that helps!
So some of the characters aren't actually substituted but are removed? Non-printing characters indeed!

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Matt Bayfield » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:19 pm

One of the non-printing characters appears to be a backspace, which makes me think these are all shifted by a certain step to a character later in a character set, more usually obtained with e.g. an alt-code.

I did manually try to match the most commonly-appearing letters of the alphabet in English, to the most-commonly appearing symbols, but with there being over 30 different symbols, I'm suspecting capital letters have different symbols, as do punctuation marks, spaces, and possibly numerals. The added complication of the non-printing characters makes it too hard for me to solve manually. I haven't tried looking up character tables to work out an offset... I'll just wait for a solution, if one is offered.

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by JimBentley » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:25 pm

Matt Bayfield wrote:... I'll just wait for a solution, if one is offered.
Your wish is my command! The passage of text that was encoded:
After Late Matisse, Late Rembrandt and Late Turner comes Late Pollock, the most daring late show of all. Jackson Pollock (1912-56), the great leaky Prometheus of American art, is always assumed to have peaked around 1950, thereafter succumbing to the demons of drink, depression, adultery and cack-handed and colourless quasi-figuration, followed by (in 1953) painter’s block. Pollock’s descent into hell ended horrifyingly and murderously when, in an alcohol-fuelled rage, he drove his convertible Oldsmobile into a tree at 80mph, decapitating himself and killing a female passenger – and nearly killing his young mistress – in the process. No wonder Pollock has been the textbook example of Scott Fitzgerald’s line about there being no second acts in American lives.
Charlie got it in full, and I was very pleasantly surprised to get a couple of PMs from Howard (Somerset), who pretty much got enough of it to piece the rest together, so at least it wasn't impossible, which is what I feared (although I didn't realise it at the time).

The code is really simple, it just maps characters to their 'inverse' on the extended 256 character ASCII map. So, "A" (character 65) maps to "¿" (character 191, i.e. 256-65) and so on; " " (space) is character 32, so maps to character 224 (à), hence the amount of regularly-spaced "à"s in the coded version, yada yada yada.

Trouble is, it wasn't really fair, as I'd forgotten that as well as the non-printing characters, there are function-type things like backspace (as Matt pointed out) that alter the output and make it a bit confusing. Also there's unused characters in the full ASCII set which can be ambiguous. It can be translated character-by-character, but probably not very reliably as a string (even if you know the mapping). So a bit of a fuckup really.

I've got another crypto-thing in mind using colours, but that might be a bit too out there. I really want to come up with one that (if you know where to look) contains the information you need to solve it, but I'm not getting very far with that at the moment.

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Matt Bayfield » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:34 pm

Cheers Jim. I'd got "a" and space correct, as it turns out, but trying to work out common words in the first line, I got stuck due to the presence of proper nouns!

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Re: Quick cryptographical one

Post by Matt Morrison » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:49 am

I got the space.

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